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POLO - National 25 Feb, 2024

National Open, Quaid-e-Azam Gold Cup: FG Polo lift trophy
National Open, Quaid-e-Azam Gold Cup: FG Polo lift trophy

Sports Bulletin Report

LAHORE: FG Polo clinched the coveted trophy of the Bank Alfalah National Open Polo Championship for Quaid-e-Azam Gold Cup 2024 after defeating BN Polo by 8-6 in the main final played at historic Aibak Polo Ground of the Lahore Polo Club on Sunday.

The match was a showcase of skill and determination, with Raul Laplacette leading FG Polo with a remarkable performance, scoring six of the team's eight goals. Andres Llorrente contributed the other two, ensuring their team's dominance. BN Polo's Santiago Loza responded fiercely, achieving a hat-trick of goals, supported by Hamza Mawaz Khan with two goals and Santos Iriarte adding one to their tally.

The final was a rollercoaster of emotions and skills, beginning with BN Polo's quick lead of 2-0. FG Polo, however, quickly narrowed the gap by the end of the first chukker and continued to build momentum, eventually overtaking BN Polo. Despite a strong comeback from BN Polo to level the score at 4-4, the decisive fifth chukker saw FG Polo unleash their prowess, outscoring their opponents to clinch the championship with an 8-6 victory.

The match was expertly overseen by field umpires Mark Holmes and Nicolas Scortichini, with Juan Zubiaurre acting as the match referee. In the aftermath of their triumph, FG Polo Captain Mian Abbas Mukhtar expressed gratitude for the team's hard work and preparation, attributing their success to divine favor.

The championship also saw Olympia/AZB Polo taking home the subsidiary final trophy, narrowly defeating Diamond Paints/Master Paints by a 4-3 margin.

The Lahore Polo Club took the occasion to honor contributions to the sport, presenting awards to notable individuals including a lifetime achievement award to former President Lahore Polo Club Irfan Ali Hyder. Awards were also distributed to various club staff for their exceptional service.

Highlighting individual excellence, Raja Mikayial Sami received the best Pakistani player of the year award, while Raul Laplacette was named the best foreign player. Other accolades included the highest goal-scorer of the tournament awarded to Max Charlton, and recognition for the best local and final's best mare, showcasing the integral role of equine talent in the sport.